Blame me for heavy loss, says Furyk

PARIS • United States captain Jim Furyk proverbially fell on his own sword on Sunday, accepting blame for his team's heavy loss to Europe at the Ryder Cup.

"Thomas (Bjorn) was a better captain, and their team outplayed us," said the 48-year-old, who became the sixth consecutive American leader to preside over a losing team in Europe.

"He did a good job. When a team is successful, as they were and as well as they played, that shows to me they had great leadership.

"I know everyone on this table wishes they had played better, and I wish I probably would have done some things differently as well but, at the end of the day, we did the best we could and we all worked hard."

Tough questions about what Furyk, and his players, could have done differently will be asked, including whether it was negligent that half his team arrived at the quirky Le Golf National without having stepped foot on the course.

He cited logistics as a reason, though it is worth noting that Justin Thomas, the only American team member who played the French Open on the course this year, was the star of the losing team, winning four of his five matches.

Furyk will also be second-guessed for playing the notoriously inaccurate Phil Mickelson in the unforgiving alternate-shot foursomes, rather than four-ball (better ball).

GIVING CREDIT WHERE IT'S DUE

He did a good job. When a team is successful, as they were and as well as they played, that shows to me they had great leadership.

JIM FURYK, US Ryder Cup captain, acknowledging the success of his Europe counterpart Thomas Bjorn.

The latter format, in which both players hit their own ball and take the best score on each hole, generally rewards attacking golf and birdies, which is more Mickelson's style of play. The 48-year-old five-time Major winner lost his Friday foursomes and was benched until the singles.

Furyk said: "I realise as a leader of this team and as a captain, the brunt of it is going to be on my plate and I accepted that when I took this role.

"I'll work with the PGA of America and I'll work with our Ryder Cup committee and I think we'll keep improving."

Triumphant European captain Thomas Bjorn said the key to victory had been about the collective rather than any individual and his 12 players had made his job an "easy one".

While Francesco Molinari and rookie Tommy Fleetwood were Bjorn's top dogs, winning four points as a pair, every member of the side contributed to the tally.

His four picks - Sergio Garcia, Henrik Stenson, Ian Poulter and Paul Casey - earned 91/2 points.

Garcia's 2&1 win over American Rickie Fowler in the singles saw him reach 251/2 points since making his debut in 1999, surpassing Nick Faldo's previous mark of 25 points to become the leading points-scorer in Ryder Cup history.

Said Bjorn: "This turned out to be pretty exciting because the way that the 12 of them joined up together as a team and the way they looked after each other throughout the week made the captaincy pretty easy.

"This is the best team room I've ever been in."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 02, 2018, with the headline 'Blame me for heavy loss, says Furyk'. Print Edition | Subscribe